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Central Information Commission asks for department-wise details of whistleblowers complaints

Sunday, 10 August 2014 - 10:25am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The department-wise details of whistleblowers' complaints of corruption in government departments can be made public, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has held.

Exercising his Right to Information, Venkatesh Nayak had sought from Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) details of complaints against government servants received under the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers (PIDPI) Resolution, also known as whistleblowers resolution.

The CVC in its reply had maintained that PIDPI data is maintained as per the names and designation of officials concerned or organisation-wise to which the officials belong.

"The information sought by the appellant may be available in the individual files of the Commission and culling and compiling from all the files pertaining to PIDPI complaints would involve deployment of additional manpower and would disproportionately divert the limited resources," the CVC had said while disposing of the application and appeal.

Aggrieved over the rejection, Nayak had moved CIC. "The Commission directs the Central Public Information Officer to provide the information to the appellant," CIC said in its order.

According to an official data, CVC had received 698, 804 and 901 complaints under the PIDPI Resolution during 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively.

"CVC disposes of most of the PIDPI cases saying 'requiring no action' and gives no explanation. The public in general and most importantly, the whistleblowers themselves, have the right to know the reasons for this kind of disposal," said Nayak, who works with NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and demanded more transparency in disposal of these cases.

The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, which provides a mechanism for protecting the identity of whistleblowers - a term given to people who expose corruption - got the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee in May this year.

The Act also provides for a system to encourage people to disclose information about corruption or willful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers.

As per the law, a person can make a public interest disclosure on corruption before a competent authority, which is at present the CVC. 




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